Notre Dame coordinator Mike Sanford impresses 2017 QB Hunter Johnson
Notre Dame and Hunter Johnson exchanged a pair of firsts Sunday.
Johnson met new Irish offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Mike Sanford for the first time. In return, the Irish coaching staff made Johnson the first quarterback in the 2017 class to receive a Notre Dame offer.
“(Head) coach (Brian) Kelly wasn't there, but he wanted to make sure that I knew I had an offer,” Johnson said. “The coaches let me know when I was there. It was pretty cool. I'm going to try to get back soon so I can talk to coach Kelly and meet up with coach Sanford again."
Following a visit at Northwestern on Saturday, Johnson arrived at Notre Dame around 1 p.m. on Sunday. Johnson and his parents spent six hours on campus before heading back to Brownsburg, Ind.
“It was awesome,” Johnson said. “It was a great day all around.”
Had a great time in South Bend yesterday. Can't wait to get back soon! #Fightingirish #Goirish
A photo posted by Hunter Johnson (@hunterphil413) on Mar 16, 2015 at 2:33pm PDT
Johnson, a 2017 U.S. Army All-American, visited Notre Dame last year for a summer camp and the game against Northwestern. He received his first true tour of campus on Sunday.
“This was my first time getting to see the actual school,” Johnson said. “We went into one of the chapels there and that was kind of cool. We talked about the history of Notre Dame. It was a really educational experience. I learned a lot about football and the school.”
Sanford invited Johnson to visit campus shortly after starting his new job at Notre Dame. Targeting a talented in-state quarterback made for a natural priority.
247Sports slates Johnson as the No. 1 pro-style quarterback in the 2017 class and No. 9 overall regardless of position. Rivals named Johnson to its “Rivals100 to Watch” list. In his second season as a starter, Johnson completed 122 of his 226 passes for 1,434 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Notre Dame joined a growing list of schools to have offered the 6-foot-3, 197-pound Johnson. The list, which recently hit double figures, includes Penn State, Tennessee, North Carolina and Northwestern.
Sanford spent time describing to Johnson his coaching philosophy and touched on specific drills he likes his quarterbacks to perfect. Johnson shared his future aspirations on the field and in the class room. It was the first face-to-face conversation of what will likely be many more.
"I liked him a lot,” Johnson said. “He's a young guy, and I felt like we related well. He felt very similar to me. He was easy to talk to.”
Below are Johnson's sophomore highlights via Hudl.
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